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Compensation Study


The Loyola University Maryland community has been actively engaged in the creation of a shared vision and strategic plan for the future of the University. Our final 2023 – 2030 Strategic Plan articulates a vision for Loyola’s future, provides direction and sets priorities looking forward to 2030.  

At the commencement of the strategic planning process, one of the questions President Sawyer asked our community to think about was “How can employment issues specific to higher education be innovatively addressed, making Loyola a place where people feel valued and love to work?”  

As part of our response to President Sawyer’s question, in late spring 2023, Loyola began an important initiative to engage in a Staff and Administrator compensation study.  Our objective is to ensure Loyola provides a fair, equitable, competitive, transparent, compliant, and fiscally responsible compensation delivery system. We know that such a compensation delivery system can contribute to making Loyola a place where our people feel valued, love to work, and want to spend a career contributing to the achievement of our strategic goals and the fulfillment of our mission.     


The study consists of six key components.

  • Compensation Philosophy and Peer Group Refresh
  • Job Structure/Job Evaluation/Titling/Career Paths Framework
  • Salary Market Assessment
  • Internal Pay Equity Analysis 
  • Salary Structure Update
  • Cost Analysis and Implementation Plan

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Compensation Philosophy Refresh

Job Architecture Titling/Career Paths Framework

Salary Market Assessment

Pay Equity Analysis

Salary Structure Update and Cost Analysis

Final Results/ Implementation

Request and review data/materials Review existing staff job structure Develop best practices and benchmarking methodology Data collection Revise market - informed pay grades and ranges Revise pay administration guidelines
Gather stakeholder input - timing to be decided Develop job families Match benchmark jobs to surveys Pay equity analysis Assign jobs to pay grades using market data Review pay administration guidelines
Refresh compensation philosophy Create job level and titles framework Conduct market match reviews Review outliers Validate recommendations Develop comprehensive report
Review peer group Validate job architecture Conduct market assessment referencing living wage calculators Report of findings and recommendations Finalize pay grades and pay structure Implementation plan/ road map recommendations
  Develop career path maps Review initial market assessment   Determine estimated costs, for two overall target points  
  Report of findings and observations Determine findings and recommendations   Report of salary structure recommendations  

Compensation Philosophy.

We started the compensation study with an examination of the emerging 2023-2030 Strategic Plan. We considered how our compensation philosophy needed to embrace the focus points of this Strategic Plan and reflect contemporary compensation practices. Our intent is for Loyola’s compensation philosophy to clearly establish and communicate the design, administration, comparator market and funding principles for our updated compensation delivery system.  With input from senior leadership and the Loyola community, a compensation philosophy was developed.  Below we provide key excerpts from our compensation philosophy. 


Loyola seeks to provide a fair, equitable, competitive, transparent, compliant, and fiscally responsible compensation program. At the same time, we strive to balance our investment in base pay with the investments we make in support of other factors to attract, engage and retain our staff and administrators. Additionally, we provide a competitive total compensation package which includes base pay and a comprehensive benefits package. Our benefits encourage health and wellbeing, continuous development through our tuition remission program, security in retirement and paid time off programs. 

Components of Pay.

The base pay for our roles represents the value of the position in the market and the impact of the role within the context of the Loyola community. On occasion we may provide special awards to recognize outstanding individual or team achievement that leads to the fulfillment of our mission and strategic goals.

External/Internal Equity.  

Loyola’s compensation program balances external competitiveness and internal equity, while being fiscally responsible and attentive to our budget resources and long-term financial sustainability.

Pay Structure.

Our compensation structure and pay ranges are developed using competitive market data, as defined by our comparison markets, which may vary depending upon the market(s) in which we compete for specific talent.

Position Evaluation.

Compensation is based on the position’s responsibilities, scope, experience/education requirements, and other job factors. Positions are assigned to a pay range based on market rate, with consideration for internal equity. Human Resources reviews internal equity among similar positions within the University to make consistent recommendations. 

Pay Transparency.

The University is transparent about key tenets of the compensation program, engaging, and encouraging dialogue through the Loyola Conference and appropriate governing bodies to ensure understanding of the program. The rationale for all program changes is clearly stated to all involved participants. Compensation information is shared through the Loyola Conference where employees have the opportunity to voice concerns.

Job Structure/Job Evaluation/Titling/Career Paths Framework.

Concurrent with our development of the compensation philosophy, we have developed a staff job framework with job families and subfamilies. The framework also includes a job leveling and titling structure. While common in contemporary practice, this type of framework is new to Loyola.  This framework will allow our staff to envision career development opportunities across the University.

The creation of the framework provides us with the opportunity to ensure that our compensation delivery system is transparent, consistent, and equitable as well as clearly linked to the market:

Transparency, Consistency and Equity
  • Defines the job value factors for determining internal equity and external comparability
  • Provides consistent definition of course job levels across Loyola
  • Provides standard format to ensure titles are used consistently across campus
  • Facilitates cross-campus comparison to ensure equity
  • Facilitates employees understanding of career streams and levels
Clear Linkage to Market
  • Market informs the number of levels that may be appropriate for career progression
  • Market provides a snapshot of core responsibilities that define a unique job
  • Assigned job levels ensures appropriate level benchmark jobs is applied
  • Job families and levels helps define an appropriate labor market
Essential Tools for HR and Managers
  • Provides essential tools for compensation benchmarking, recruitment and career development

Remaining Components.

Work is underway to finalize the findings from the competitive market assessment and the internal pay equity study.  This includes updates to our 14-grade salary structure.